Storm surge floods downtown St. Augustine

Some businesses saw 3 feet of water; Flagler College dealt with rising water

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The city of St. Augustine continues to clean up Monday after Hurricane Matthew caused several feet of water to surge through the downtown streets and the bay front.

Some businesses saw nearly 3 feet of water. Flagler College also had flooding.

It will be a long process to clean up the college. Much of the first floor was flooded, including an area that had been newly renovated.

Like a drain in a bathtub, floodwaters swirled down stairs emptying into the basement. The force of the floodwaters caused one of the college’s historic doors to push straight out.

Flagler College President William Abare Jr. said the water rose quickly. It was the same story on the bay front, where popular restaurants including Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille and the Casablanca Inn were flooded.

"If it had been a Category 4, if it had been a little closer to the shoreline instead of being 40 miles out, you know, we would still be digging our way out today,” Abare said. “There would have been more trees, more damage, and we were very, very fortunate that it wasn't worse than it was."

The rising water even caused large propane tanks to rise from the ground on Flagler College’s west lawn.

"They were very buoyant,” Abare said. “And because of the amount of water, they came out of the ground, so they are being removed today."

Abare said the school will resume classes next week, and any activities that were scheduled for this week, will be rescheduled to future dates.

  • Oct. 7, Insel performance at Crisp-Ellert Art Museum rescheduled for Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 11, Community Lecture Series with Dr. Joe Saviak, City Commission and Mayoral Forum with City of St. Augustine Candidates
  • Oct. 12, Ideas & Images series with Dr. David Guggenheim
  • Oct. 13, Site Specific Sound Installation with Michael Dickins at Crisp-Ellert Art Museum rescheduled for week of Oct. 31. 
  • Oct. 15, Campus visit day

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